Richard Tracey Calls For Reformation Of Strike Laws

Accuses Unions of not accepting the need for modernisation of tube

Londoners are in between yet another set of crippling strikes by trade unions who refuse to accept the need to modernise our Tube system. We are seeing real progress on the Tube. Commuters living and working in Wandsworth will benefit from faster journeys due to new signalling equipment on the Northern Line and extra capacity on the London Overground. Meanwhile, across London, we will see the introduction of 24-hour trains from next year, flexible ticketing, and more staff available around stations to help the public.

TfL has identified that people aren’t using ticket offices, so let’s use the cash to continue our rapid pace of modernisation. These plans will see staff being moved onto station concourses and platforms where they can help the public directly, and with these changes, nobody faces the sack. However, union bosses will carry on blocking progress even though their members get handsome pay, over-generous pensions and free travel for flatmates just to do their job. Meanwhile, for every day the unions strike, London’s economy is hit to the tune of an estimated £50m in loss of trade and pay.

The system is broken and it’s high time the Government took action. I’ve made the case for legislation replacing strike action on the Tube with independent mediation. With a process called “Binding Pendulum Arbitration”, if Transport for London was to call for a hypothetical wage freeze for Tube workers and a union asked for a 10% pay rise, an independent judge would have to decide between only those options, with no compromise. This means both parties have an incentive to be reasonable from the outset. This will protect workers’ rights and commuter misery would be a thing of the past.

If you agree with this sensible idea, and want to make sure this City keeps moving forward, then please take 30 seconds and lend your name to this Government e-petition:

Richard Tracey,
Conservative London Assembly Member for Merton and Wandsworth,
GLA Conservatives

February 10, 2014